There is pending legislation in Washington that will focus on multiple entry points for physical and mental health services, for individuals incarcerated in jails and prisons.
The first piece of legislation, the Humane Correctional Health Care Act (HR 4141), asserts that a legislative goal is to increase medical assistance services and access to quality care, as well as access to these services upon return to the community.
See Rep. Kuster’s op-ed in the Washington Post with Senator Booker, and an editorial in the Concord Monitor, on the Human Correctional Health Care Act (HR 4141) — legislation that would extend Medicaid eligibility to inmates of public institutions. Rep. Kuster’s office is ramping up outreach to build co-sponsorship support for the bill, and is working hard to make the legislation bipartisan. Current group supporters of HR 4141 can activate grassroots efforts to help build bipartisan support; if your group would like to support the bill, please contact Marisa Salemme.
The second is an outpatient services bill that outlines the guarantee of three outpatient physical and three mental health visits at a minimum for inmates returning to community settings. Staff from Rep. Lauren Underwood’s (D-IL) office reached out, sharing the above referenced DRAFT text and is soliciting feedback on a bill they plan to introduce later this year. The bill would require commercial plans to cover three outpatient mental health visits per year without any cost-sharing requirements (it would also cover three primary care visits without cost sharing).
If you have any questions, please contact RCPA Policy Director Jim Sharp.